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Three recommendations for providers approaching accreditation renewal

Three recommendations for providers approaching accreditation renewal

Matt GruskinDMEPOS providers often view the accreditation renewal process as a daunting, time consuming and stress-inducing process—but it doesn’t have to be. While accreditation is essential to maintaining compliance with CMS and ensuring that businesses have a “patient safety first” mindset, providers can flip their mindset to view it as an opportunity to improve and evaluate their strategy. 

Here are three recommendations for DMEPOS providers approaching their three-year cycle renewal that may help them navigate the accreditation renewal process with greater ease, while ensuring top-quality care delivery to their patients and focusing on strategies to improve their bottom line: 

#1: Be a smart shopper; evaluate your accreditation organization (AO) options 

As your renewal date approaches, it is in the best interest of your business to evaluate your AO options. You can start by asking yourself the following questions about your current AO: 

  • 1. Am I satisfied with the level of customer service and/or support I receive? 
  • 2. Does my AO provide the tools and resources I need to be successful? 
  • 3. How have my questions/issues been managed? (This one is particularly important. Often, business owners and compliance officers don’t know their level of satisfaction with their AO until there is a problem.) 

The great news is that you have options. Similar to shopping for a new cell phone or car insurance provider, you can also “shop” for a new AO. There are many variables that may impact your selection: 

  • how many locations you manage, 
  • how quickly your on-site survey can be scheduled, 
  • how quickly the AO responds to questions, 
  • ability to speak to a person vs. voicemail 
  • quality of suggestions and recommendation, and, of course, 
  • how much you are paying 

If you, ultimately, decide to switch your AO, planning ahead is critical. Be certain that there is ample time to prepare for and participate in a site survey to avoid any gaps in your accreditation status. 

#2: Review what you are ‘offering’ by evaluating product categories 

Providers should lean on their AO for resources to help them meet the needs of their community. Business owners looking to gain a competitive advantage and enhance the credibility of their business may consider adding new product categories as a way to enhance the quality of care and services provided to patients. 

Some business owners may be surprised to learn there is a wonderful free tool available through CMS: the Interactive Atlas of Chronic Care Conditions. This mapping tool allows you to select a chronic disease and zip code – for instance, COPD – and better understand the impact of this chronic condition on people in your community. 

How can you leverage those findings? It’s simple: If you find a prevalent chronic disease in your community, you can work with your AO to add relevant product categories to your suite of services. Adding services shows your community that you are invested in understanding and anticipating their chronic health care needs and safely delivering care. It also means you can now bill for those services, which impacts your bottom line. It’s always the right time to explore your options in this space, and if you have questions, your AO should be able to guide you. 

#3: Adopt a culture of compliance 

It is paramount for business owners and their staff to realize that complying with quality standards isn’t simply one person’s responsibility. Today, it is important to adopt a culture of compliance. Every employee needs to understand that they have a role to play when it comes to maintaining patient privacy and safety and delivering exceptional care. 

Adopting this mindset is a best practice for businesses. Compliance should be an essential part of any DMEPOS entity. An effective culture of compliance will not only protect business owners but also benefit patients and larger communities. Your AO should be able to support you in explaining how to structure your job descriptions and training programs to demonstrate this commitment. 

Accreditation renewal can be a positive experience and an opportunity for DME providers to reflect on operating practices, identify areas for improvement and demonstrate their commitment to providing the best possible care. With the right strategies and mindset, DME providers can navigate the accreditation renewal process with ease and excellence. 

Matt Gruskin, MBA, BOCO, BOCPD, CDME, is COO for BOC. He is responsible for leading the direction, strategy, policies and day-to-day operations of BOC’s accreditation and certification programs. Matt is focused on the growth of the credentialing programs and ensuring the delivery of excellent customer service. He holds an MBA in healthcare from Florida International University, a graduate degree in O&P from University of Hartford, and postgraduate certification from the International School of Pedorthics.


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